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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

4io

AFRICAN  MUNGOOSES

sometimes raised to generic rank as Vrvct, is partly aquatic in
habit ; it feeds upon crabs and frogs, but is quite willing to take
to poultry and their eggs.

Selggale   is  a  genus whose  validity appears  doubtful   (to Dr.
Mivart).      It is African, and contains two species.

FIG. 202.—White-tailed Ichneumon.     Herpestes albicauda.

Cynictis is an African genxis, with five digits on the fore-limbs
and four on the hind. As in Herpestes, the orbit is completely
encircled by bone. There is but a single species, C. penicillata,
which is of a reddish colour and has a bushy tail.
JSdeogale, also African, has the toes still further reduced;
there are only four on both limbs. The tarsus is hairy and the
tail bushy. They are " very rare animals, and nothing is known
of their habits." It is known, however, that they will kill
poisonous snakes, for Dr. Peters took a Rhinoceros "Viper out of
the stomach of one.
SJiyncTiogale * differs from all other genera of "Viverridae, except
Orossarclius and Suricata, in having no groove upon the muzzle.
There are five digits. There is the full Viverrine dentition, with
five preraolars in the upper jaw ; but this may be an abnormality.2
Orossarchus differs from the last in only having three pre-
molars on each side of each jaw. It is also African, and there
are several species.
Suricata is the last genus of Viverridae; it is also African,
and contains a single species, Suriccuta, tetradactylcc,, the " Meerkat "
of the Cape. The Suricate has but four toes on each foot; the
tarsus and the metatarsus are naked below. The body is banded
posteriorly. There are fifteen dorsal vertebrae, and the orbit is
1 The original name was JKhinogale.
* That it is aa abnormality has been recently stated.